We are sad to report that Mary Pauline (“Polly”) Allen, a longtime Rugby enthusiast, passed away last week at her home in Knoxville. Polly visited Rugby in the mid-seventies and soon became an active member of both Christ Church Episcopal and Historic Rugby. Her dedication to the church culminated in her helping design and obtain funding for “Friendly House”, the Parish Hall, which is used and enjoyed today by both church members and community members. An accomplished interior designer and avid historic preservationist, she also helped design the period interiors for historic Newbury House, originally a boarding house which Historic Rugby purchased in the 1980’s and turned into a bed and breakfast.

Polly and her husband of sixty six years, Lt. Col. James J. (“Jim”) Allen spent many enjoyable weekends in Rugby with their family at their lovely home, Ingleside. The cottage was a visitor favorite when open during Rugby’s house tours.

In early August, Historic Rugby honored Polly and Jim Allen for their decades-long stewardship of Ingleside, one of the few remaining original homes in the village. Although she was not well enough to travel to Rugby for the presentation of the certificate, Mr. Allen, their son Jeffrey Allen and his family, and daughter Melinda Tyler and her two children were able to attend. We are deeply appreciative of all Polly did for Rugby over the years! She will be greatly missed.


To read more about her amazing life please click on Polly Allen.


Polly Allen at her historic home, Ingleside












Historic Rugby Board Chair, John Hicks, (left) presenting the Stewardship Award to Jim Allen








The Allen family in front of Ingleside